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In this article, we are going to examine different aspects of the snowdrop flower and learn more about the history behind it. You can learn:
- Definition of the snowdrop Flower
- Planting snowdrop Flower
- Growing snowdrop
- The Myth of Martisor
- Snowdrop plant care
- Facts about snowdrop
- Snowdrop symbolism
Definition of Snowdrop Flower
The snowdrop is a bulbous plant, which belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family. Different varieties with single or double flowers are available. Both varieties have a 15-20 cm peduncle and bear a single flower.
Today, there are 19 species of snowdrops and more than 500 varieties. The most common is Galanthus nivalis: Galanthus means “Flower of milk” and nivalis means “snow.”
This bulbous plant is 10 to 20 cm high. The flowers are mostly white and solitary. Furthermore, flowering takes place mainly in January and February depending on the region and the climate. The snowdrop gives off a slight honey scent.
Each white flower is more or less marked with a green spot on the internal segments. In fact, this help in the identification of many varieties. Snowdrops can be found on cool, shaded and rich soils, or in wet meadows.
Planting Snowdrop Flower
In order to fully enjoy the blooming of snowdrops in your garden, you should plant them in groups in the fall. For example, you can plant 10 or 20 bulbs in a flower bed alongside with other spring flowers.
If you have enough space, you can spread a few assortments of it in several places. You can also add the giant snowdrop (Galanthus), which is sure to stand out. The plant lasts for several years and can multiply over time. Other options also provide a nice effect.
Snowdrops can be planted in large numbers, somewhat randomly in the lawn, providing beautiful flower spots in late winter. In spring, a border of land topped with these bells can bring joy and happiness to the eyes.
The snowdrop appreciates full sun but still supports partial shade. It can be grown in all types of soil, but this plant especially loves well-drained soil.
Very rustic, the snowdrop blooms from January and February, depending on the region. It is a bulbous plant that requires a cold winter in order to thrive. The snowdrop likes the sun in the south regions, though, so you can grow it even in warmer climates.
We strongly advise to plant it in partial shade so that it does not suffer in summer. Planting takes place from September to December so that the bulb makes its reserves for flowering in spring.
With regard to planting and growing, good watering is a must. Once flowering has arrived, you should keep the soil moist and water as needed. Using mulch can make it easier if the soil tends to dry out.
The Myth of Martisor
In Romania, the snowdrop is associated with the celebrations of Martisor. The celebration takes place on the first March in each spring.
Romanians celebrate Martisor and the arrival of spring with its first snowdrops that give hope, optimism. This triumph of life is celebrated in Romania by the martisoare – a small symbol of love and happiness.
The “martisoare” are also considered to be lucky charms. Traditionally, they represent 4-leaf clovers, horseshoes, ladybugs or chimney sweeps attached to two braided wires; one red, and the other white.
These colors have received different connotations over time: winter and spring, life and death, health and illness.
The legend says the Winter Witch did not want to give up her place for the Spring Fairy. In a merciless struggle, the fairy cut herself off and a drop of blood fell in the snow. The blood instantly turned into snowdrops, symbolizing the fairy’s victory
Snowdrop Plant Care
Easy to cultivate, the snowdrop needs a fresh and well-drained soil. The snowdrop likes undergrowth, where it beautifully lights up the foot of a large tree or shows itself in shady rock gardens.
For a truly spectacular effect in January-February, do not hesitate to plant around 30 bulbs on the lawn. In February, the Snowdrop can bring the breath of fresh air you need to get through the winter. Other planting is done in October, at a depth of about 10 cm, respecting a minimum spacing of 5 cm.
After the flowering period, wait until the leaves have turned. Then, leave the bulbs in place and make sure they are not too hot during the summer.
In doing so, cover them with thick mulch and water the soil well in case of drought or heat wave. The following year, the bulbs can beautifully bloom again. Later, you can only divide the tufts when they look too dense.
Facts about Snowdrop
Snowdrops grow to a height of about 15 cm and are presented in the shape of drops of milk. They are synonymous with modesty and humility, and this bulbous plant belongs to the family of Amaryllidaceae (Galanthus nivalis).
It blooms in winter in the undergrowth and rock gardens and sometimes in lawns. Back in the past, some cold months were harsh and difficult to live especially in the countryside. Thus, this small graceful flower was able to cross the snowy ground. This beautiful flower gave men hope for the arrival of spring.
The snowdrop is a symbol of hope and consolation. This flower represents purity and used mainly in homes to protect from evil. There is an English tradition that snowdrop bouquets help to remove harmful influences from houses. Precious water, drawn from its flowers, can be used to remove unwanted freckles, at least according to folk medicine.
The snowdrop symbolizes hope for better days ahead and is one of the first signs that spring is on its way. The white color of its flowers symbolizes virginity, innocence, happiness and joy. Indeed, the purity of white evokes beauty and perfection with the end of winter and the arrival of spring.